Congressional delegation tours Puerto Rico as earthquakes mount

Data pix.

PONCE, Puerto Rico — Normally busy downtown Ponce is practically empty this weekend. But 70-year-old Roberto Gonzalez still rides around town all day in his tricycle.

Gonzalez said he feels safe, despite being only able to return home for showers. He fears more than 1,400 earthquakes that have hit the island in the last month.

Shattered windows, cracks and debris all over Ponce gives an idea how residents are feeling.

Buildings with red tags are in danger of being demolished.

“Any of these damages are fixable, as long as you have the investment to put into them,” said Jaime Yordan-Frau with the El Nodo Initiative.

A US Congressional delegation is in town this weekend to hear many stories from residents. They’re touring the southern coast of Puerto Rico where many have had it.

12 miles west of Ponce in Guanyanilla, many of the elderly have been in a tent city for more than a month.

"I’m not saying we are in paradise, but we are in a safe place,” a man told us.

Congressman Chuy Garcia was briefed by FEMA. On Friday, he met with the Governor of Puerto Rico to discuss speeding up aid.

“The mayors are very concerned that they are losing people and those people will never come back and that they’re losing professionals that are key to the well-being of the cities,” Garcia said.

Back in Washington, the House approved $5 billion in aid. President Trump wants to put conditions on how the funds are distributed.

Senator Durbin, who was also in Puerto Rico this week, wants the Senate to take up the issue soon. But it’s not clear when that could happen.

The back and forth battle is hard to understand for people just trying to stay afloat.


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